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GUARANTEE: WE'LL TAKE YOUR PAPER BAGS BACK! INDUSTRY LAUNCHES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO RECOVER ALL BROWN GROCERY BAGS

 PORTLAND, Ore., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. paper bag industry launched a nationwide campaign to recover all paper grocery bags for recycling into new paper bags and corrugated boxes. The "Brown Bag America" program kicked off in Portland in June, where the state of Oregon was honored for its progressive curbside programs, featuring the brown bag for source separation.
 The paper bag industry is encouraging communities nationwide to use the brown paper bag as a collection vehicle in curbside and drop-off recycling programs. To ensure that the paper bag recycling effort works, the Paper Bag Recycling Council (PBRC) of the American Forest & Paper Association (AFPA) guarantees that it will find a market for all paper bags collected. A toll-free number - 1-800-878-8878 reaches communities with markets and mills that will recycle the paper bags, and converters that will return them to supermarkets as new paper bags and corrugated boxes.
 "We crave paper bags!" says Don Stibich, chairman of the PBRC and senior vice president/paper sales of Longview Fibre Company. "Through the "Brown Bag America" campaign, we're responding to consumers' environmental concerns and increasing the industry's access to clean, quality recovered fiber. And, by guaranteeing a market for recovered bags, and ensuring that the bags will be recycled into new paper products, we're closing the loop on grocery bag recycling."
 Faced with overcrowded landfills, more and more communities across the nation are implementing recycling programs. When Portland's landfill closed in 1985, the Oregon State Legislature passed a bill that required all cities with populations of 4,000 or more to provide curbside recycling to residents. Oregon's cities responded with curbside programs featuring the brown paper bag to encourage participation and source separation of recylables among residents. The paper bags were free, easy to use and there was a market for the material. Use of the paper bag by Portland's Metro region has enabled residents to reach a current 39 percent recovery rate (percent material recovered for recycling that would otherwise have gone to the landfill) -- one of the highest recycling rates in the U.S.
 "Brown Bag America" will contribute significantly to the paper industry's established goal of recovering 40 percent of all paper consumed by 1995. Recently, America's s paper companies announced that - thanks to the help of millions of Americans who separate paper for recycling - they are on track to exceed the industry's goal. AFPA data show that, in 1992, 38.4 percent of U.S. paper consumption (33.6 million tons) were recovered for domestic recycling or export. The trade group reports that recovery could reach 40 percent within the year 1993 and may go as high as 42 percent in 1995.
 "Brown Bag America" will travel to cities throughout the nation to educate communities about the advantages of "brown bagging" recyclables. The program will provide retailers, converters and community and state leaders with a "how-to" videotape, instruction guide and brown bag recycling "Starter Kit."
 -0- 7/8/93
 CONTACT: Anne Olsen, 212-371-2200, for "Brown Bag America"/


CO: Paper Bag Recycling Council ST: Oregon IN: PAP SU:

SM -- NY001B -- 9708 07/08/93 17:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 8, 1993
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